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Newman wins 7th career Coors Light Pole at Loudon

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Friday, September 20, 2013

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Ryan Newman
Harold Hinson for Chevy
Before Friday’s qualifying session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Ryan Newman quipped that he would give 100 percent on both laps—a reference to the edict NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France announced last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.

As it turned out, Newman wasn’t kidding. On his first circuit, he broke the track record Kasey Kahne had set earlier in the session. On the second lap, Newman broke the record he had set 28 seconds earlier.

To be exact, Newman toured the Magic Mile in 27.904 seconds (136.497 mph) to shatter the mark of 135.922 mph established by Brad Keselowski in July. Kahne (136.082 mph) and third-place qualifier Jeff Gordon (136.063 mph) also beat the previous record.

Kurt Busch qualified fourth at 135.868 mph, followed by Martin Truex Jr. at 135.636 mph, as Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers claimed the top four starting positions for Sunday’s Sylvania 300, the second event in the Chase.

Chase driver Joey Logano will start sixth and Paul Menard seventh. Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle, all competing for the Cup title, claimed the eighth through 10th starting positions, respectively.

"Everything about qualifying weighs in to having a better chance in the race, with the pit selection and with track position to start and, obviously, knowing you have a fast race car," said Newman, who won his seventh Coors Light pole award at the 1.058-mile speedway, a track he termed the "birthplace of track position," where a strong qualifying effort is especially helpful.

"We’ll see what we can do with our Quicken Loans Chevrolet tomorrow in race trim. We’ve been in qualifying trim the entire day, so I’m pretty sure and pretty confident we can make it all pay off."

The pole was Newman’s second of the season and the 51st of his career, ninth on the all-time list. A win Sunday wouldn’t be the first time Newman has converted a pole into a victory at New Hampshire. He won from the top starting spot during his 2002 rookie season and again in 2011.

Mere minutes after taking the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole, Newman claimed the Coors Light Pole Award for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100 with a 29.475-second lap. It was his fifth tour pole, all of which have come at New Hampshire. He’ll lead the field to green tomorrow at noon ET, live on FOX Sports 2.

Unlike Newman, whose first and second laps were both good for the pole, Gordon picked up speed considerably from his first lap to his second, but not by design.

"When I went into the run and took off from pit road, I was really going to try to get it done on the first lap," said Gordon, who is making the most of his 11th-hour addition to the Chase after manipulation of the outcome of the final regular-season race at Richmond knocked him out of the 10-race playoff, unfairly, in NASCAR’s view.

"I came off Turn 4 (approaching the green flag) just wiggling and sliding, and I thought, ‘OK, maybe I can make up for it in (Turns) 1 and 2, and then off of 2 really bad, and at that point, it was just all about regrouping and trying to put a second lap together."

Gordon succeeded beyond his expectations.

"I was shaking when I got out of the car," Gordon said, “because that first lap was so hairy and on the edge that, the second lap, I had to really try to get the car to run really straight and no make any mistakes, but I knew we had a lot of ground to make up.

"When they said I was third, I was really excited, because I knew we certainly weren’t anywhere close to that on the first lap."

The remaining five Chase drivers filled the following positions on the grid: Jimmie Johnson 11th, Kyle Busch 12th, Clint Bowyer 16th, Dale Earnhardt Jr. 17th and Carl Edwards 26th. Edwards tagged the outside with the right rear of his car on his first lap, requiring the repair of cosmetic damage before Saturday’s practice.

Lineup

Pos Driver # Make Sponsor Speed Time Behind
1 Ryan Newman 39 Chevrolet Quicken Loans 136.497 27.904 Leader
2 Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet Great Clips 136.082 27.989 --0.085
3 Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 136.053 27.995 --0.091
4 Kurt Busch 78 Chevrolet Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet 135.868 28.033 --0.129
5 Martin Truex Jr 56 Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 135.636 28.081 --0.177
6 Joey Logano 22 Ford Shell Pennzoil 135.525 28.104 --0.200
7 Paul Menard 27 Chevrolet Menards / Sylvania 135.463 28.117 --0.213
8 Kevin Harvick 29 Chevrolet Budweiser 135.410 28.128 --0.224
9 Matt Kenseth 20 Toyota Home Depot Husky 135.371 28.136 --0.232
10 Greg Biffle 16 Ford 3M Ford Fusion 135.208 28.170 --0.266
11 Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet Lowe's 135.126 28.187 --0.283
12 Kyle Busch 18 Toyota M&M's Peanut Butter 135.097 28.193 --0.289
13 Aric Almirola 43 Ford Smithfield 135.073 28.198 --0.294
14 Denny Hamlin 11 Toyota FedEx Ground 135.021 28.209 --0.305
15 Juan Pablo Montoya 42 Chevrolet Target/Gillette 134.987 28.216 --0.312
16 Clint Bowyer 15 Toyota 5-Hour Energy 134.892 28.236 --0.332
17 Dale Earnhardt Jr 88 Chevrolet Time Warner Cable 134.477 28.323 --0.419
18 Mark Martin 14 Chevrolet Mobil 1 / Bass Pro Shops 134.420 28.335 --0.431
19 David Ragan 34 Ford Taco Bell 134.292 28.362 --0.458
20 Brad Keselowski 2 Ford Miller Lite 134.217 28.378 --0.474
21 Danica Patrick 10 Chevrolet GoDaddy 134.193 28.383 --0.479
22 Marcos Ambrose 9 Ford DeWalt 134.132 28.396 --0.492
23 Jamie McMurray 1 Chevrolet Linksys 133.981 28.428 --0.524
24 David Gilliland 38 Ford Long John Silver's 133.792 28.468 --0.564
25 Jeff Burton 31 Chevrolet Cheerios 133.769 28.473 --0.569
26 Carl Edwards 99 Ford Aflac 133.637 28.501 --0.597
27 Michael McDowell 51 Chevrolet SEM Products 133.548 28.520 --0.616
28 Bobby Labonte 47 Toyota Bush's Beans 133.520 28.526 --0.622
30 Travis Kvapil 93 Toyota Burger King-Dr. Pepper 133.301 28.573 --0.669
31 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 17 Ford Zest 133.282 28.577 --0.673
32 Landon Cassill 40 Chevrolet Moon Shine Attitude Attire 133.170 28.601 --0.697
33 Kevin Swindell 30 Toyota Genny Light 132.365 28.775 --0.871
34 Casey Mears 13 Ford No. 13 GEICO Ford Fusion 132.232 28.804 --0.900
35 David Reutimann 83 Toyota Burger King-Dr. Pepper 132.200 28.811 --0.907
36 Joe Nemechek 87 Toyota TBA 132.163 28.819 --0.915
37 J.J. Yeley 36 Chevrolet United Mining Equipment 132.089 28.835 --0.931
38 Dave Blaney 7 Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing 132.048 28.844 --0.940
39 Tony Raines 33 Chevrolet Little Joe's Autos.com 131.497 28.965 --1.061
40 Scott Riggs 95 Ford Leavine Family Racing 131.035 29.067 --1.163
41 Johnny Sauter 98 Ford Phil Parsons Racing 130.613 29.161 --1.257
42 Timmy Hill 32 Ford U.S. Chrome 128.767 29.579 --1.675
43 Josh Wise 35 Ford The Pete Store - - Leader

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